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General Reading List for Chartres and the Liberal Arts

For Reading list specific to this coming July, see bottom of 2010 syllabus.


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Books that are required for every Chartres intensive are generally at the beginning of our long bookstore list. 
Books for the current Chartres intensive are generally at the end.

The Golden Age of Chartres: The Teachings of a Mystery School and the Eternal Feminine by Rene M. Querido, Rudolf Steiner Press, ISBN 0-945803-26-5, $18.95.

This is the book that inspired Jim Garrison and Andrew Harvey to create New Chartres School. Discusses the esoteric history of the creation of the original Chartres School in 1006, and its initiatory exploration of the Seven Liberal Arts and the erotic sciences of alchemy, astrology and sacred art as a path of personal and collective transformation.

Chartres: Sacred Geometry, Sacred Space by Gordon Strachan, Floris Books, 2003, ISBN 0-86315-391-7, $30

Well-written book, both in terms of the exoteric and esoteric history around the creation of Chartres Cathedral. This book traces the history of the development of Gothic architecture from contact with the Sufis in Jerusalem, and the Islamic masons that the Knights Templar brought back from the Crusades.

Alchemy and Mysticism by Alexander Roob, Taschen Publishers, ISBN 3-8228-1514-4, $29.99

This 700-page book is an amazing compendium of alchemical, sacred geometric and astrological imagery. To immerse oneself in this book is to receive a direct transmission of the alchemical mysteries, which were conveyed primarily through imagery and invocational, often cryptic writings. Be sure to get the original version (just re-issued), not the abbreviated one from the Icons series.

Dynamics of the Unconscious, Vol. 2 by Liz Greene and Howard Sasportas. Weiser Books, ISBN#0-87728-674-4.

Read the last section of this book, Alchemical Symbolism in the Horoscope by Liz Greene, found on pages 255-323. It's a fascinating exploration, even if one has little familiarity with astrological language.


Chartres: Cathedral of Notre Dame

This website was produced by the University of Pittsburg, and contains a vast library of digital images of Chartres, including maps, floor plans, and architectural details.

The Mysteries of Chartres Cathedral by Sir Ronald Fraser
This article is a wonderful synthesis of Louis Charpentier's book Les Mysteres de la Cathedrale de Chartres, which Sir Ronald Fraser translated into English.

Martianus Capella and the Seven Liberal Arts by Karl Heyer
This article explores Martianus Capella's 5th century allegory on the Seven Liberal Arts, The Marriage of Mercury and Philology, which was an essential part of medieval education, and at the original Chartres School.

The Gnostic Science of Alchemy by Vincent Bridges
Explores the history of alchemy and the development of the Gothic cathedrals of Europe, including a discussion of Fulcanelli's 1926 masterpiece, Le Mystere des Cathedrales, which claimed that the Gothic cathedrals were Hermetic libraries in stone with the secrets of alchemy displayed for all who could read them.

The Alchemical Vessel as Symbol of the Soul by Adam McLean
An insightful article on the nature of the alchemical process, with a focus on the alchemical vessel as a symbol of the physical, emotional, mental and etheric container that is required for the transmutation to occur.

The Alchemical Process of Transformation by Nigel Hamilton
A concise article on the basic tenets and stages of the alchemical journey, both as a physical and psychological process of transformation.
Jung and Astrology
Discusses psychologist Carl Jung's view of the planets as primordial archetypes, and a language of symbols that mediates between levels of consciousness.

The Moon: Myth and Image by Jules Cashford
Please read the Forward and Chapter 14 The New Moon: Rebirth from The Moon: Myth and Image by Jules Cashford, found on the web at:


THE ALCHEMY WEBSITE www.levity.com/alchemy

The most comprehensive website devoted to the alchemical mysteries, with information on alchemy in all its facets. Divided into over 1300 sections and providing tens of thousands of pages of text, over 2000 images, over 200 complete alchemical texts, extensive bibliographical material on the printed books and manuscripts, numerous articles, introductory and general reference material on alchemy. This site is the creation of Adam McLean, the well-known authority on alchemical texts and symbolism, author and publisher of over 50 books on alchemical and Hermetic ideas.

Check out the Alchemical Emblems project, with over 800 images from historical alchemical texts. Also recommended is Adam's article on The Alchemical Vessel as Symbol of the Soul found at http://www.levity.com/alchemy/vessel.html

ASTRODIENST - www.astro.com

Great astrology website, with articles on psychological astrology by Liz Greene, and other noted astrologers.

For further research…

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Chartres Cathedral by Malcolm Miller, with photographs by Sonia Halladay and Laura Lushington, ISBN: 1-878351-54-0

This is a good book to familiarize oneself with the architecture and stained glass of Chartres Cathedral, although the historic and symbolic interpretations of the text are quite conservative.

The Philosopher's Stone by Peter Marshall. ISBN#0-330-48910-0, $19.95

A comprehensive historical exploration of alchemy as being central to the world's mystical traditions, covering China, India, Greece, Egypt, the Middle East, and Europe.

Mysteries of the Dark Moon: The Healing Power of the Dark Goddess by Demetra George, Harper Collins, ISBN: 0-06-250370-7, $17.95.


The Mysteries of Chartres Cathedral by Louis Charpentier, translated into English by Sir Ronald Fraser

Fascinating book, especially in its exploration of the sacred geometry of Chartres.

Alchemy: The Great Secret by Andrea Aromatico, Discoveries: Harry N. Abrams, ISBN 0-8109-2889-2.

A small but well-written book on the history of the hermetic arts.

Alchemy: The Art of Transformation by Jay Ramsay, Thorson's, ISBN 1-85538-509-0

This is the best book on alchemy as a psychological and spiritual process of transformation. It is currently out of print, but publisher's overstock can sometimes be found on the web at http://www.alibris.com


The Seven Liberal Arts by Thomas D. Worrel

This article explores the spiritual vision of the Seven Liberal Arts in the Masonic tradition, and in the Cathedral and School of Chartres.

The School of Chartres: From Fulbert to Bernard

A 45- page scholarly article on the history of the Chartres School, excerpted from A History of Western Philosophy, Vol. II by Ralph McInerny.

Transformative Sanctuaries by Norman D. Livergood

Discusses the history of the Knights Templar, alchemy, and the mysteries surrounding the creation of Chartres Cathedral as a crucible for the transmutation of mankind


Chartres Cathedral: A Sacred Geometry
ISBN#1-56839-108-0, $24.95

This is a terrific documentary on the mysteries and the sacred geometry behind the creation of the Cathedral, featuring Professor Keith Critchlow, a leading expert in sacred architecture. Available at the Wisdom University Bookstore.

ARTmind: The Healing Power of Sacred Art with Alex Gray
$17.99. Available at the Wisdom University Bookstore.

Both DVDs are available for rental online through NETFLIX.